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Using free version of CRMs like Hubspot, or Google Sheets + Integrations like Zapier/Integromat?

Dark Water

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I'm currently a one man team and generally have been keeping track of clients through a mix of Google Sheets, pen and paper, and just memory. I'm looking to free myself of this burden and get everything organized.

Essentially, I'm just looking to keep track of client/org/phone/email with notes on last contact and what to do next. I do see my one man operation expanding to potentially multiple people sometime later in 2021.

In a way, Google Sheets fills most of this nicely but it feels clunky when I want to add notes/last contact. I've searched around for a lot of "CRM" Google Sheets but most of them have been too excessive for what I need. On the other hand, Hubspot looks decent for a free version in accomplishing everything related to a client, but I feel like I'm at ends with constantly be upsold to their higher pricing tiers, using their branded material, and generally being nickel and dimed for little add ons, whereas this could be improved on Google Sheets overtime.

I'm also not completely sold on a need for Zapier or Integromat, which can create automation between say a contact form and Google Sheets. For example, Zapier only allows 5 hooks and 100 tasks per month, which is probably enough to capture emails and have them automate into Google Sheets, but may not be enough if I want to add in other things.

I imagine a lot of people here are facing or have gone through a similar situation. I've spent a couple of hours researching both and I'm going to make a decision tomorrow. Any recommendations?
 

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Dark Water

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For what it's worth, I'm going to stay with Google Sheets for now as I'd otherwise have to make a new Google account for Hubspot... because of this:

Hubspot permission requirements for Google:

View your email messages and settings

Send email on your behalf

See and download all your Google Drive files

View and edit events on all your calendars

See and download any calendar you can access using your Google Calendar

View and manage Search Console data for your verified sites

Manage the list of sites and domains you control (View and manage the owners of domains you control)

All of that just to integrate Gmail to Hubspot. I have my domains with Google. Why would I allow Hubspot to actively manage and change ownership of my domains just so I can have them sync contact data from my email? Doesn't make sense to me.

Perhaps after I exhaust Google Sheets and its capability, I'll make a new Google account for the business and only use that with syncing Hubspot.
 

Empires

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Checkout Bitrix24. Their free CRM is really robust for being free.

The only thing that was unreliable about it, and the reason I moved away from it, was their phone system. But if you won't be needing that then I think it should have all the capabilities you need.
 

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